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Bidding Wars Back En Vogue As Housing Market Improves

CBS 2 Surveys The Scene In N.J., Where Sellers Are Having A Field Day

MILLBURN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — If you were sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the real estate market to rebound, we have two words for you tonight: Game On.

Bidding wars, once a big deal only to disappear when the market went south, are once again a big deal, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported Thursday.

The owner of a $1.4 million house in Short Hills is basking in a market that has buyers rushing to make offers on her home.

“It’s a crazy market right now. There’s a lot of people wanting to buy. There’s a lot of bidding wars going on,” Kim Walls said.

Those bids had been so good, Walls said she got exactly what she wanted and the “for sale” sign will be coming down this week.

But she is also buying a home.

“We’ve actually experienced a couple of different time where there up to five to seven bids on a house … It’s rough,” Walls said.

What is spurring the bidding wars? Fear of a buying deadline, private wealth manager Scott Rothbort said.

“There’s two things going on. One is that housing prices are actually going up and, second, that interest rates are going up,” Rothbort said.

Realtors say a low inventory of homes in the Tri-State Area is making it harder for buyers to find their dream home. And many buyers are coming in with cash offers instead of mortgage commitments, so they’re ready to move.

“When you have more demand than supply it creates for a situation that causes bidding wars,” real estate agent Karen Bigos said.

“It’s tough as a buyer because it’s competitive and you have to hit all the wish-list items,” Walls added.

Rothbort predicted interest rates on mortgages will go up in 2014. That is why real estate agent Bigos said this is the summer to buy.

“We’re at that mad race for people to get a house and close in time for schools,” Bigos said.

The bottom line economists like Rothbort say is this is not only the summer but the year to buy if you want to get a deal on a house.

Economists told CBS 2’s Sloan that some people are going to have a harder time qualifying for a mortgage as interest rates go up.

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